8 Feb 2012
The Department of Health (DH) today (February 8) appealed to members of the public not to buy or consume a slimming product named Xiu Zhi Su L-Carnitine Slimming Capsule, as it may contain banned drug ingredients that are dangerous to health.
The appeal followed DH’s receipt of notification from the Hospital Authority (HA) about a 21-year-old lady who had a history of consuming a slimming product. The DH commenced investigation immediately.
"The patient attended Accident and Emergency Department of Caritas Medical Centre on February 1, 2012 because of shortness of breath and palpitation. She described a history of consumption of a slimming product called Xiu Zhi Su L-Carnitine Slimming Capsule. Drug-related adverse effect was suspected. The product was purchased from the internet. The HA's laboratory test on the product sample showed the presence of two banned Western medicines including - sibutramine and phenolphthalein. She was discharged from hospital on February 2, 2012 after treatment. Investigation continues," a DH spokesman revealed.
"Sibutramine is a Part I poison and was once a Western medicine used as an appetite suppressant. Since November 2010, products containing sibutramine have been banned because of increased cardiovascular risk. Phenolphthalein was once used for treating constipation but has been banned for its possible cancer-causing effect," the spokesman explained.
The spokesman urged members of the public not to buy products of unknown or doubtful composition, or consume products from unknown source such as the Internet. People should consult healthcare professionals if they feel unwell or are in doubt after taking the product.
"People should stop using the above product immediately and should submit it to the department's Drug Office at 3/F., Public Health Laboratory Centre, 382 Nam Cheong Street, Kowloon, during office hours for disposal," the spokesman said.
"Weight control should be achieved through balanced diet and appropriate exercise. People should consult healthcare professionals before using any medication for weight control," the spokesman concluded.